December Woods

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were on my Christmas baking list.  I got the recipe from a co-worker and they are so yummy!

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Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
3 cups quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips (or more, if you like them chocolatey!)
Directions
Mix sugar and shortening until creamy.
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Add eggs and vanilla, mix. Add baking soda, salt, and milk, mix.
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Add flour, mix. Add oats and chocolate chips, mix (may need to mix by hand if too thick for mixer).
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Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes (I baked mine for 14 minutes).
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Enjoy!

DIY Curtains

I finished making curtains for the bedroom!  Here’s how I did it (and how you can too!)

Step 1 – Figure out what size curtains you want.  I recommend making yours a standard size.  That way, if you ever replace them with store-bought curtains, you won’t have to move the position of the curtain rod.  Here are the standard curtain lengths: 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches.  84 inches is the length most widely used, so I went with that.

The width of your curtains is important too.  Measure the width of your window.  Both curtain panels combined (assuming you’re making two panels per window) should be equal to 1.5 to 2 times the width of your window.   My window is 40 inches wide so I decided to make each of my curtain panels 38 inches wide (for a total of 76 inches).

Step 2 – Measure and cut.  Roll out your fabric, iron if necessary, and then measure the amount you want to cut.  I decided my curtain panels were going to be 38 inches wide by 84 inches long, but I needed the cut of fabric to be larger than this so that I could fold nice hems.  My rule of thumb is 2 extra inches on each long side, 3 inches extra on the bottom, and 4 extra inches on top.  Therefore, I measured and cut each panel 42 inches wide and 91 inches long.

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Step 3 – Iron the hems.  Fold over 1 inch of fabric on each of the 4 sides and then iron the fold to create a crisp fold (crispy folds will help your curtain look professionally made!).

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That’s slightly more than one inch, but no one’s perfect

Once you’ve folded and ironed 1 inch on each side, you’ll  want to fold and iron the fabric a second time so that you get a clean hem.  Do the following:

1.) Fold each of the long sides over 1 additional inch.  Iron the fold.

2.) Fold the top over 3 inches (in addition to the one inch you’ve already folded) .  Iron the fold.

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3.) Fold the bottom over 2 inches (in addition to the one inch you’ve already folded) .  Iron the fold.

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Now it should look like this:

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Step 4 – Create a liner (if desired).  I use flat bedsheets as curtain liners because they are cheap yet they give the curtains a more “finished” look.  You can buy one twin size flat sheet per panel or you can buy one full size sheet for every two panels (the cost is the same no matter which you choose).  I bought 3 white full-size flat bed sheets because I was making 6 curtain panels.

Unwrap the sheets, iron, and then cut to the dimension of your curtains.  I cut my liners to 84 inches long by 38 inches wide (the final size of my curtain panels).

Once that is finished, lay your liner underneath the folds of the curtain panel.

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And then refold:

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Now your curtain panel should look like this:

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The only thing left is to place a pin every 6 inches along the side to keep the fabric in place and then sew the seams.  Make sure to keep the top open so that you can place a curtain rod through it.

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I’ll show more pictures of the curtains once our bedroom is painted and finished in a few weeks!

***Update***
See how these curtains look after my bedroom makeover.

Bedroom Makeover and End of Autumn

Autumn is soon coming to an end.  The days are getting shorter and shorter.  Look at this.  The top picture was taken outside my front window at 5pm on June 27th.  The below picture was taken at 5pm today.

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It’s okay; spring will be here before we know it, right?  Right?!

Anyway, I’m excited because the fabric I ordered for the bedroom curtains will be here tomorrow.  I bought 16.5 yards of Premier Prints fabric for only $97!

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Premier Prints Gotcha Twill Storm

I don’t really want to make curtains for the bedroom, but I decided to because 1.) I couldn’t find decent curtains for anything less than $50 per panel.  $50 per panel x 3 windows = $300.  No way I’m paying that.  And 2.) I couldn’t find a print I was really happy with.  So I’m making my own.  I also just ordered this bedding:

BeddingAnd I’m still trying to decide on a paint color for the bedroom walls.  I think I have it narrowed down to two:

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Any thoughts?  In case you can’t tell, I’m planning on a gray, white, green color scheme and I’ll probably throw in pops of orange.   I’m hoping to have the bedroom far enough along by the end of December to share pictures with you.

Stay tuned and don’t let the short days get you down (if you’re in part of the world where there’s not much daylight).